We hadn’t been in Caracas more than a few hours before a local news station decided to stop Juan (who wouldn’t want to talk to someone with a mustache like that!?) to interview him about Venezuelan politics. What did he think of the city? What about Chavez and the people? Juan rose magnificently to the occasion – discussing how progressive and modern the city is, how the people seem so involved, how pretty the town squares are. All that college-level Spanish really paid off.
Caracas was bustling when we arrived. Partly this had to do with the droves of people that took to the streets to honor and mourn the loss of Willian Lara, a Venezuelan politician who died the day before we arrived, and partly to do with the fact that parliamentary elections are happening on September 26. It was really quite impressive to see so many people out involved in the happenings of their country.
The highlight of our stay in Caracas was the time we spent with Jean Carvaggio (aka Aldo Tercero), someone we met through couchsurfing (thanks Danielle!). He picked us up near the Altamira metro station and gave us a proper tour of Caracas – the fancy malls where all the upper class hang out, the neighboring village of El Hatillo which has all but been absorbed by Caracas, and finally the 360◦ roof bar on the top floor of the Hotel Altamira Suites. He was generous with this time, his knowledge and even his wallet and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing Caracas through his eyes. Needless to say, if we ever settle down somewhere, he has a standing invitation!